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“Every person has different intelligences, some being more developed than others. To know this heterogeneity, to know that not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace, is essential to a quality education. By accepting these differences, you can teach each student on the basis of their potential, enabling the optimal development of their capabilities”
One of Internacional Aravaca’s school characteristics is the way we meet the individual needs of our students. We understand our students as unique beings and therefore, each one acquires, processes and expresses the information in a different way; consequently, the learning style is different.
The application and development of the Multiple Intelligences theory begins already in the Pre-School, one of the most important stages within the field of education. It is during these years when the brain is ready to begin to develop to its maximum potential.
Notably, the aim of the emotional intelligence development through the Ruler program is to improve the social, emotional and academic development of our students in order for them to learn to recognise, understand, label, express and regulate their emotions, become more able to solve problems and conflicts, have empathy, form optimal relationships with others and make better choices.
The theory of the 8 multiple intelligences developed by Ph.D. Howard Gardner of Harvard University, is another of the methods used to personally assist our students, as these are taken them into account when planning the syllabus.
This theory, confirms that individual differences are important. The practical application of the theory implies recognition and respect for each individual’s learning style, as well as their interests and talents.
Therefore, Internacional Aravaca provides all its students with different learning opportunities related to the eight intelligences.
The starting point, which is the student, their previous knowledge and their learning style, are important to the school.
– We are KINESTHETIC, TACTILE, AUDITORY AND VISUAL, as we ACQUIRE INFORMATION.
– We are GLOBAL, ABSTRACT, SEQUENTIAL AND CONCRETE as we PROCESS THE INFORMATION.
– We are PRAGMATIC, ACTIVE, REFLECTIVE AND THEORETICAL as we EXPRESS THE INFORMATION.
Pragmatic: practical, direct, effective.
Active: encouraging, improviser and spontaneous.
Reflective: analytical, receptive, balanced.
Theoretical: methodical, logical, critical.
This theory shows that these intelligences never exist in isolation and that we all have these 8 intelligences, working differently in each one of us.
David Goleman’s emotional intelligence looks into intrapersonal (self-knowledge) and interpersonal (interaction with others) intelligence. It raises the question as how people with a high emotional intelligence manage to have greater success in their lives (80%), than others with a high IQ (20%).
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INTERNACIONAL ARAVACA, A EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT SCHOOL
We have begun to develop the Ruler program, a prestigious American project on emotional education (www.therulerapproach.org) created by Ph.D. Marc Brackett and developed by prestigious professors of Yale University.
We are convinced of the importance of learning to regulate and manage emotions, not only in our everyday lives and in our relations, but also in the performance and, therefore, in the success or failure of any personal or professional project that we may undertake in our life. The activities we develop with students are as follows and in this order:
• ACTIVITY 1
To elaborate an «Emotional Agreement» by the students, the class advisor and teachers per class. This agreement tries to agree on the feelings they want to experience when they are at school, to think about what behaviours that make them feel good and the ones which do not, to prevent possible conflicts.
The agreement is signed by all and displayed on a poster in each class. In the classrooms, we no longer have class rules; we have feelings and behaviours that move us towards or away from those feelings.
• ACTIVITY 2
To develop a «Mood Meter». With this tool, the students acquire greater awareness and emotional understanding, to be able to express their feelings better, using rich feelings specific vocabulary, so that they finally learn strategies to regulate their emotions. Each day, students are given time to ask themselves these 5 questions:
1. How do I feel right now? I place myself in the Emotional Meter.
2. Why do I think I feel this way?
3. Which word best describes my current state?
4. How do I express the way I feel?
5. Does this feeling help me to take advantage of the class? What strategy will I use to make the best of the class?
• ACTIVITY 3
«Metamoments» is a process that allows to extend and manage the «period of time» between emotional stimulation and response, in order to promote personal well-being and academic and professional growth. It supports self-control and emotional self-regulation. They have to internalise 5 steps:
1. What happened?
2. How did your body and head express it?
3. Stop: what will you do? You can breathe or say to yourself phrases to calm you down.
4. Visualise your ideal self: Describe 5 qualities you would like to have and that for others to see in you.
5. What strategy will you use?
• ACTIVITY 4
«Blue Print» tool to manage and prevent conflicts while working on empathy, feelings awareness and other’s point of view. You can also work on emotions and conflicts using these activities at home, as they are also very effective in that environment and students will feel more motivated.